Naby Keita returned to individual training earlier this week and Jurgen Klopp has now revealed that the Guinea international should be back in action before the World Cup.
Liverpool have seven fixtures to play before the tournament begins in Qatar on Sunday November 20 and the No. 8 will be hungry to earn as many minutes as possible.
The former RB Leipzig man has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since August and is yet to play a single minute for the German’s side this term – but the former Borussia Dortmund tactician has now provided a fitness update on the 27-year-old.
“No, before,” the 55-year-old replied when asked about whether we’ll see Keita back in action after the World Cup. “The football part of his pre-season starts, physically, he could probably run a whole marathon when he starts on Monday but that is not helpful because he needs to do other movements.
“As long as we can give the boys time to recover fully and get as fit as possible, we always try to do that.
“The problem is when we start with injuries in the season and the boys that come back very often have to play too early because there are no other options. In this case we hope that we can do that and give him time until he can play.
“But maybe next week I tell you that Naby Keita starts, I don’t know, we’ll see.”
There were reports that the midfielder was unhappy with his current situation at Anfield and was far from content with the amount of game time he’s received recently.
If those rumours are accurate, it’s rather bemusing how the Premier League-winner can be unhappy with his playing time when you consider that he’s missed 84 games for Liverpool through injury since joining the club back in 2018.
When he arrived on Merseyside many had big hopes for the Guinean but it’s fair to say that he hasn’t quite lived up to those high expectations.
He’s shown glimpses of his potential but has found it very difficult to nail down a regular starting spot in the side.
Speculation surrounding our No. 8’s current deal remains with reports suggesting that he won’t entertain contract talks until January.